A new wave of youth seems to be taking over Bollywood, freshening it with new stories and raw cinema that depicts the stories of today. Surfing this wave is Devir Singh, a filmmaker, a director, a sportsman, a traveler and a visionary.
Devir, who is currently working on his directorial debut “Gama In The Land Of Lama”, a film which he is inspired to send for International Film Festival, besides working on his television show “JOURNEY TO FAME”, a 10 Episodes series on eminent personalities with a different take, is no stranger to cinema. Especially good cinema. His documentary “CELEBRATING LIFE” was released recently by a gathering of distinguished personalities from India and the World. The film received widespread appreciation, and was screened and circulated in all SAARC Nations.He was also recently featured in NDTV Profit and was also awarded the Human Achievers Award in excellency in film making.
We get an insight into his fascinating personality, and what makes him so different from his counterparts, in an interesting interview with the man himself.
- Devir, as a storyteller, tell us your How did you end up in Bollywood?
(Smiles) I wish it were as easy as a “Once upon a time…” story, but it’s not.Films never ‘happened to me. I have always felt inspired to create my own stories, so I cannot pinpoint the day I stopped and thought, “Hey, this seems like a cool thing to do!” I just made my own stories, and with every story it felt a little more right to go on this path. When I met Yash Chopra Uncle a few years back at the House of Lords in London, he talked about films to me and hearing him, it just felt right, to continue on this path. So, I went to Amity School of Communication and learned as much as I could about film-making there. Made a couple of movies, played with the camera, bounced ideas and all that-and here I am!
2) But naturally, there were several things that happened between college and “here”, right? You set up a production house at only 22- how did that come to pass?
The Production house was definitely a daunting decision, but when you’re an army brat, you tend be scared of very few things in life. When I had worked on a couple of movies, I felt like I needed to do more, to put more content out there so that I could tell more stories, and setting up a production house seemed like the right way to go about it, so I made the decision in 2015 and have not looked back. Today, we’re producing a show called “Journey To Fame” on NDTV Prime and have several other projects underway. I say it has been a good run.
3) So is Mr.Producer busy with his new show these days, or is there something else you are working on?
(Laughs).. I wish I could sit in a Producer’s chair and order people around all day, but my workaholic nature does not allow that. Moreover, I feel like I am a director first, so naturally I am busy with another film while “Journey To Fame” is under production. We are working on “Gama In The Land of Lama”, my directorial debut and a movie set in Kalimpong, WB, along with “Journey To Fame”. There’s just so much to be done. My mother and I are also working on her project ‘Nanki’ which works to support underprivileged girls, and the Production House is even looking at a few documentaries and a television show on the Indian Army, which are currently in their planning stage.
4) No acting projects on the card?
Haha, no. None yet. My mother would be more than pleased if there were, but I feel like there’s still so much to do, so many stories to tell, and I want to tell these stories as a filmmaker. Maybe in a few years, when I know enough about the craft of acting, I may consider it, but I am more than happy with my job for now.
4) After Celebrating Life, Journey To Fame, and Gama In The Land of Lama, clearly you know your way around the industry. What advice would you give to someone who is interested in filmmaking?
Make movies! I cannot stress this enough- make as many movies as you can. This is a lesson I learned which working with Yash Raj in my beginning days. The goal is to put as much content as you can out there, and make sure you improve with each project. Learn as much as you can about the art of filmmaking- by watching movies, by experimenting with the camera, by creating scenes yourself, and one day you will have created enough to find your place in the industry. Everyone has the newcomer’s apprehension, but it’s important to remember even the greatest of filmmakers started somewhere small, somewhere where you are probably standing right now. So, just have faith in yourself and your art, and keep creating.
5) Since you’re from Delhi, and have chosen to set your first movie in Kalimpong, which of the two would you choose as the better place?
Oh, you’re putting me in a tough spot now! (Smiles) Both cities are beautiful, full of culture and colours and so much history, and have special spots in my heart. Kalimpong is full of memories from my first film, so I will never be able to forget it, but Delhi, at the end of the day, will always be home, so I will have to be a little partial and choose Delhi instead. That being said, Kalimpong is definitely my second home now.
If any of you are interested in having a word with him, do drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org